His innovations were widely credited with reducing the death rate among Maryland's most critically injured accident victims. In Maryland, the accident survival rate is 2 1/2 times the national average, according to a 1986 study.
"RA was a driven man whose key word was 'do it, do it right,' " Governor Schaefer said of his good friend during the funeral service.
Following his retirement in 1989, Dr. Cowley became director of the National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Systems in Baltimore and a special adviser to Governor Schaefer.
Born July 25, 1917, in Layton, Utah, he was the son of a pharmacist and a businesswoman. He was the great-great-grandson of a woman who followed Brigham Young across the plains in the Mormon migration of 1848. Dr. Cowley became an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A deeply religious man, Dr. Cowley was reading Scripture the day he died, said Dr. Brent Petty, a fellow Mormon. Fittingly, he said, Dr. Cowley's Bible was buried with him.